Saturday, September 28, 2013

Spirit of Discernment

I beseech you in the name of Jesus the Christ that God may give you the spirit of discernment…. Prepare yourselves while you have [heavenly] intercessors to pray to God for your salvation, that He may pour into your hearts that fire which Jesus came to send upon the earth (Luke 12:49), that you may be able to exercise your hearts and senses, to know how to discern the good from the bad, the right from the left, reality from unreality…. Truly, my beloved, you know that when there is a fair wind, the ship’s captain boasts; but it is in the time of violent adverse winds that every skilled captain is revealed. (Letter III)
~St Anthony the Great

From Christ in our Midst

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Self-esteem Revisited

“The passion of self-esteem is a three-pronged barb heated and forged by the demons out of vanity, presumption and arrogance. Yet those who dwell under the protection of the God of heaven (cf. Ps. 90.1) detect it easily and shatter its prongs, for through their humility they rise above such vices and find repose in the tree of life.”
Nikitas Stithatos, “The Practice of the Virtues,” # 80, The Philokalia, Vol. 4  (From Christ is in our Midst)

It would seem to Mr. Stithatos that self-esteem whether positive or poor, founders on its foundation of vice.  (pride or despair).  I believe he is correct.  May we always be found in Christ, to flee from sin in all its subtle forms, and pursue Him in all His humility.  Thus will the fruit of the Spirit be manifested in us.

LORD have mercy,   Brian+